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Fatty Arbuckle Scandal 1921 One of the most tragic figures in movie history was Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle. A onetime cabaret singer, Arbuckle was among the most popular actors in silent comedies from 1914 to 1921. Starting as an extra at Keystone Studios, the surprisingly nimble Arbuckle quickly graduated to starring roles in the studio's slapstick comedy films where he was noted for his terrific accuracy in throwing pies and other missiles. Later, like Charlie Chaplin, Arbuckle matured as a performer, adding brilliantly subtle aspects to his comedy routines. A box-office favorite, he was making a seven-figure salary at Paramount Pictures in 1921. Midway through that year Arbuckle was so popular that he was put to work on three feature comedy films simultaneously! Shortly after completing them, Arbuckle's career abruptly ended in scandal. He was accused of sexually assaulting small-time actress Virginia Rappe at a party he was hosting in a suite at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Labor Day 1921. Rappe died four days later in a maternity hosptal of peritonitis from a ruptured bladder, presumably caused by the 266-pound Arbuckle forcing himself on her. (There was also an apocryphal story of Rappe being raped with a champagne or cola bottle. How this slanderous story started is anyone's guess.) Rappe had become violently ill and irrational at the party. Arbuckle and several partygoers tried to succor Rappe and eventually moved her to another hotel room where she was examined by three different doctors over the next three days. A postmortem on Rappe's body found no signs of sexual assault whatsoever. In all likelihood Rappe death's was due to medical negligence or malpractice. Moreover, Rappe was hardly the virginal victim that the popular press and D.A.'s office portrayed her to be. The mistress of director Henry Lehrman, Rappe had had at least four abortions by the time she was 16, she had an out-of-wedlock child that she had abandoned, and she was afflicted with gonorrhea. In the summer of 1921 the 26-year-old Rappe, who hadn't had an acting job in two years, recently underwent another illegal abortion. Rappe was also suffering from a chronic illness that was exacerbated by her taste for poor-quality Prohibition booze. The accusations against Arbuckle were based solely on a malicious complaint fabricated by party attendee Maude Delmont, a known extortionist who claimed to be a "lifelong friend" of Rappe's--but had only known Rappe for two days prior to the Labor Day party. Arbuckle was astounded when a horde of reporters descended upon his Hollywood mansion to tell him he was being investigated for rape and possible murder charges in Rappe's death. Beginning in late September, Arbuckle was tried three times for rape and manslaughter in the space of seven months. He spent $700,000 on legal fees to beat the bogus charges. The prosecution's case was absurdly weak and should have been dropped. In fact, complainant Delmont was never called as a witness because her wild story of Arbuckle assaulting Rappe for an hour did not jibe with the physical evidence nor the timeline of events at the party. Nevertheless, the San Francisco D.A.'s office doggedly pursued the charges against Arbuckle because of intense pressure by reformers and moralists. The first two trials resulted in hung juries. At the first trial, Arbuckle fared terrifically when he eagerly took the stand to defend himself. It ended with the jury voting 10-2 in favor of acquittal. One stubborn holdout was a militant feminist so determined to convict Arbuckle that she refused to read any portions of the trial's transcript or listen to other jurors' opinions--to the point of childishly putting her hands over her ears! The second trial, in which Arbuckle's legal team badly advised him not to bother to take the stand because his innocence was obvious, was surprisingly 9-3 in favor of conviction! At the third trial, in April 1922, Arbuckle wisely took the stand. The jury deliberated for a mere six minutes before returning with a not guilty verdict that was loudly cheered by the gallery. Furthermore, the jury also insisted a formal apology to Arbuckle be read into the trials' official transcript. Film historians generally believe Arbuckle was totally innocent of any wrongdoing and was the victim of malicious prosecution. Nevertheless, his acting career abruptly ended because newly appointed Hollywood censorship czar Will Hays banned distributors from showing any Arbuckle comedies despite being acquitted! Although filmdom was deprived of a master comic's work, Arbuckle stayed in movies by directing films under an assumed name. He was just beginning to make an acting comeback--with six two-reel comedie--when died of heart failure in 1933 at age 46. According to Arbuckle biographer David A. Yallop, in an era when Hollywood stars routinely engaged in all sorts of debauchery, Roscoe, ironically, "was probably the most chaste man in Hollywood."
Tags: Roscoe  Fatty  Arbuckle  scandal  1921 
Added: 16th November 2007
Views: 2857
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Posted By: Lava1964
 Baby Face Nelson Lester Gillis, better known as Baby Face Nelson, due to his youthful appearance, was a diminutive 5'4" tall bank robber in the 1930s. Born in Chicago, he began his criminal career stealing cars. He also worked for a time as an enforcer for Al Capone, fought with Capone's ally and outfit member Anthony Accetturo, and received broken bones for his troubles, but he was let go due to being "too violent" for Capone to control. Nelson came to greater prominence in 1934, when he joined the Dillinger gang. He was the antithesis of popular, Robin Hood-like gangsters of the Depression era. Having a psychopathic bent, he didn't hesitate to kill lawmen and innocent bystanders. In contrast though, Nelson was a devoted husband and father who often had his wife and children with him while running from the law. A running machine gun battle with FBI agents took place on November 27, 1934. It started when Nelson, his wife, and John Paul Chase were driving down a road and saw a police car driving the opposite direction. Nelson hated police and federal agents and used a list of license plates he had compiled to actively hunt them at every opportunity. He had recognized the car and decided to chase them. Once they both stopped, the shootout started. Nelson and Chase used their car for cover, however, he charged at the police and opened fire. Even though he was shot 17 times, he was still able to steal the agents car after killing them. Nelson's wife and Chase helped him into the car and with Nelson giving directions, Chase drove away from the scene. Nelson succumbed to his wounds at approximately 8pm that evening and was unceremoniously dumped near a Skokie, Illinois, cemetery. He holds the dubious distinction of being personally responsible for the killing of more federal agents than any other criminal.
Tags: baby  face  nelson  al  capone  american  gangsters 
Added: 27th November 2007
Views: 2793
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Posted By: Babs64
Easy Rider Final Scene The unforgettable concluding scene of Easy Rider (1969). This senselessly violent ending is unsettling.
Tags: Easy  Rider 
Added: 9th December 2007
Views: 3145
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ambrose Small Case 1919 One of the most intriguing missing persons cases is that of Toronto theatre magnate Ambrose J. Small. Small was last seen alive on December 2, 1919 after selling his theatre chain for $1 million--a fantastic sum in those days. He lunched with his wife Theresa at the King Edward Hotel, gave her the check to deposit in their bank account, bought some newspapers from a young street vendor--and vanished forever. Small's disappearance was not reported to the police by his wife for nearly two weeks, leading to speculation that she was involved. Theresa was well known in Toronto for her charitable deeds and was used to Ambrose vanishing without warning for extended periods while away on gambling binges. To spare Theresa embarrassment, the Toronto Police did not formally announce Small was missing until his disappearance was reported in the Toronto Star in January 1920. Small had made his fortune in the theatre business staging low-brow plays often with risque themes. After his disappearance it was discovered that Small had a secret 'love nest' above his Grand Opera House in Toronto where he often 'entertained' chorus girls. Not long after Small vanished, his bookkeeper John Doughty vanished too with $105,000 in bonds taken from Small's safe deposit box. Doughty was later found in Oregon and arrested for theft. He was given a five-year prison sentence. Despite international headlines and a $50,000 reward, no trace of Small was ever found. An elderly Grand Opera House employee claimed to have overheard a violent argument between Small and Doughty on the afternoon Small vanished. The case was officially closed by Toronto police in 1960. Modern investigators recently found a memo written by an investigating officer in 1936, a year after Theresa died. The memo stated there was ample evidence that Ambrose Small had been murdered and that both Theresa Small and John Doughty were guilty of the crime--indicating that the Toronto Police were somehow involved in a major cover-up. The ghost of Ambrose Small is said to haunt one of his old theatres in London, Ontario.
Tags: Ambrose  Small  disappearance 
Added: 15th December 2007
Views: 2522
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Posted By: Lava1964
Death Wish Trailer This is the theatrical trailer for the 1974 Charles Bronson movie Death Wish. This pro-vigilante film struck a chord with many filmgoers who were sick of escalating violent crime. There were numerous reports of movie audiences all over North America loudly cheering Bronson's character.
Tags: Death  Wish  Charles  Bronson 
Added: 27th February 2009
Views: 1177
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Posted By: Lava1964
April 18 1906  The Day the Hills Trembled At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906 The San Francisco Bay area erupted as the earth unleashed her fury. The violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasting nearly 60 seconds. The quake was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada. The ground had ripped open for more than 270 miles along a great fault - the San Andreas rift. The quake lasted only a minute but caused the one of the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. The damages were estimated at $400,000,000 in 1906 dollars, That would translate to nearly 10 billion dollars today. Photos The Library of Congress J. B. Macelwane archives, Saint Louis University Richard Cawood http://www.richardcawood.com/ Film Footage 1906 earthquake sequence from "San Francisco" MGM directed by W.S. Van Dyke American Mutoscope and Biograph Company Films courtesy of ROMANO-ARCHIVES http://romanoarchives.altervista.org Music San Francisco music lyrics by Gus Kahn, Bronislau Kaper, Walter Jurman performed by Jeanette MacDonald and the Fans at Candlestick Park 1989 world series during an emotional pre-game ceremony in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake tragedy. Rocket Boys October Sky Anne Frank (Featuring Mini Ben-Ari) Mark Isham conceived and produced by Dale Caruso
Tags: San    Francsico    Earthquake    Fire    1906    Vintage    Photos    Films     
Added: 25th September 2008
Views: 1826
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Posted By: dalecaruso
Emily Davison Suffragette Martyr At the 1913 Epsom Derby, a 41-year-old British suffragette named Emily Davison wanted to attract attention to her cause. Her plan was to disrupt the race by entering the course and pinning a pro-suffragette ribbon on a racehorse owned by King George V. As the archival footage shows, Davison was violently bowled over by the horse. She died a few days later.
Tags: Emily  Davison  suffragette 
Added: 25th November 2008
Views: 1416
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ted Bundy Denounces Violent Entertainment In January 1989, just a few hours before he was sent to Florida's electric chair for murdering 38 women, Ted Bundy gave this interview in which he spoke out against violent entertainment.
Tags: Ted  Bundy  killer  violence 
Added: 14th January 2009
Views: 1304
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Posted By: Lava1964
Death of Carl Alfalfa Switzer This is the grave marker of Carl Switzer, better known to fans of the Our Gang comedies as Alfalfa. Switzer died on January 21, 1959 under strange circumstances. After his acting career wound down, Switzer became a professional dog breeder who had many clients in Hollywood. (Jimmy Stewart, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were among them.) The 31-year-old Switzer was shot in the groin when an argument over an alleged $50 debt with acquaintance Moses Stiltz turned violent. He bled to death. The official police account of the incident claims that Stiltz shot a drunken Switzer in an act of self-defense. Switzer had supposedly threatened the gunman's life while brandishing a knife. Latter day researchers have cast doubts on the accuracy of the official police report. Nevertheless, a coroner ruled Switzer's death to be justifiable homicide and the case was quickly closed. Switzer's passing received little publicity in the newspapers because famed movie director Cecil B. De Mille died that very same day.
Tags: death  Carl  Alfalfa  Switzer 
Added: 10th October 2009
Views: 2833
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Posted By: Lava1964
Richard Speck Murders 1966 On July 13, 1966, one of the most horrific crimes in American history occurred: Eight women aged between 21 and 23 were tortured and killed in a Chicago dormitory by Richard Speck. They were all student nurses who were a month away from graduation. The 24-year-old Speck (pictured here at his trial) was a lifelong felon whose lengthy criminal record included violent sexual assaults. On the night of the murders, Speck systematically killed his victims by strangulation or stabbing over a period of several hours. He also raped the eighth victim. Speck may have lost track of how many women were in the dorm room. A potential ninth victim, Cora Amurao, wriggled out of her bindings and hid under a bed while Speck's killing spree went on in another room. Amurao later identified Speck in court. Speck was found guilty and sentenced to die in the Illinois electric chair. The death sentence was later commuted on constitutional grounds. Instead Speck was given a 1,200-year sentence at Statesville Prison. For years Speck denied having any memories of the killings. However, in a 1978 interview he confessed to remembering everything. In a 1988 prison videotape, Speck was seen partying with fellow prisoners who were high on illegal drugs. The video recorded Speck mocking his victims. Portions of the video were broadcast nationally in 1996, increasing the support for capital punishment. By that time Speck was dead; he had died of a heart attack in prison on December 5, 1991, a day before his 50th birthday. No family member came forward to claim his body.
Tags: Richard  Speck  murderer 
Added: 23rd November 2009
Views: 4483
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Posted By: Lava1964

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